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Water Conservation Effort: Water Metering And Shortages In Canada
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I was commenting on a few magazine's websites and found this from Water Canada on water metering and what authorities may need to do during water shortages. Personally I find it scary that a system of executive authority actions are blurred for these situations. My comment on Water Canada's Magazine was to answer generally the actions that need to take place for a solid system of regulation to be implemented.

I feel it necessary to talk about drinking water treatment systems that conserve water, reuse water, or even have a water filtration methods that are adjustable for varying levels of conservation and reuse. So when water shortages do occur, a customer will be able to bypass certain parts of his well water filter system so as to not waste water and still get some semblance of decent water for drinking, washing, etc. Now what I am proposing is not "rocket science". Building well water systems with bypasses on each of the equipment components is what I consider "best practice" for a water treatment specialist.

I would consider bypassing the first level of water conservation for customers. This way when a shortage is declared, any component that requires to "backwash" periodically or have a continuous "waste water" flow to produce water can be bypassed. This can be done manually through valves or with a bit of instrumentation and controls, done electronically.

A second level of water conservation would be to incorporate water reuse, into the drinking water treatment process. This requires some serious thought for plumbing and cross connection control. When waste from bathroom sinks, bathtubs, or kitchen sinks are recycled, we can only use the product water for toilets according to CSA (Canadian Standards Association) code. There is no code as of yet to take grey water and make it potable again. The water filtration devices are there, but not the regulation.

Finally the ultimate means of water conservation would be to take the previous point to a whole new level. I propose that the municipal water treatment methods can be reduced down to a household level. When the effluent from the house is sent to a septic tank and then the field, we could actually treat that water again and move it back into the house. The only problem with this is that it is diffidently not regulated and therefore not sanctioned by government and the simple factor which I will call the "gross" factor. Once again the technology is there and if a customer has copious amounts of money on hand, it can be done.

I do believe in water conservation and I have word that CSA is beginning to consider a code book for taking unfit water for any purpose and bringing it to a potable level. I certainly can't wait until that day because I have some very good ideas on how to implement it, but for now the codes are there for drinking water treatment systems or making potable water more pleasing and treating grey water to non potable. I just want to make it known that regulation, both for water conservation and water reuse are just beginning to be in the forefront of the government's collective mindset.

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